SET 1: AC/DC Bag > Wolfman's Brother, Roggae, Tube > Bouncing Around the Room, Back on the Train, Your Pet Cat > Waking Up Dead > Theme From the Bottom
SET 2: Wilson > No Men In No Man's Land > Twist > Everything's Right > Also Sprach Zarathustra > Harry Hood
ENCORE: The Wedge, Slave to the Traffic Light
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Review by Hamphish
They really found little pockets/jamlets to explore in full – the sound was nice and stripped at times, with Mike and Fishman taking the lead (see the beginning section of Wolfman's, which overall was a true joy and played with a smooth force, and Roggae where it really felt piloted by Mike). Other areas were ooey gooey playpens of funk that showcased Trey's new sweep echo (I believe that's the correct term - adds a wonderful dimension to his delay playing in my opinion) and Page's 2017 keys. The Tube and YPC, while perhaps a bit more truncated than we'd all like, sum to over 10 minutes of pure indulgence of micro jamming, like eggs with hairline fractures leaking out goodness here and there while maintaining their hard structure. That egg fully cracks in BOTT and opens up a very atypical jam that spray paints the train tracks a tye dyeish haze, with Trey's new rig in full force.
Overall, a fantastic set 1 and IMO would be in the upper half of BD first sets, and I know that's an incredible statement. With such a short "tour" of 4 shows, a lengthy break between Dicks and New Years, and some new toys added to our guitarist's kit over the year, the first set style is very telling of what is coming. This theory proved true 30 minutes later:
Wilson was Wilson, No Men's on the other hand, took me to a PLACE. The colossal ambient soundscapes of Dayton Disease, 1st half of BD Crosseyed, and the BD Drowned return in divine fashion – a new genius genre of jam is flourishing under our noses that is incredibly patient, varied, and making the best use of Trey's minimalism crafted under 3.0 and the new timbres possible by the various gadgets of Page/Trey/Mike. This jam, as with 2017 in general will age very, very well.
Twist is a nice complement to the No Men's and capitalizes on some of the same themes of space exploration, but is a bit choppier with Fish's syncopated beat as opposed to the former's driving splashes. Man, Trey's guitar tone is fantastic. Just orgasmic. Return of the Dick's 15 DWD theme that we all love (kind of) before a nice space rock ending. Tough > to Everything's Right.
I think we're just going to have to accept that Everything's Right will lead to a good to great jam every time – it's basically a slinky version of Tweezer jams. Tripped out funk was a great move after the space scape of the last 40 minutes, culminating in 2001. And what a dripping and chunky Sprach it was. I and my buds were up in Chase Bridge, and with the dancing space afforded up there, this was EXACTLY what we needed. A longer version than usual, as has been the welcome trend of late.
Hood was an exclamation point, executed well with a brief minor excursion. If 2001>Hood closed every show, I would not complain. The Slave encore was an EXTRA exclamation point and had the garden drowning in euphoria as Trey rocked the sustain and trills. A very very solid version to send us home, waiting for more the next few nights.
Some knocks: while I LOVE the sons played (it's nice seeing them when they're not constricted to playing 13 shows with no repeats), the segues/flow was jerky at points. There were also a few hiccups in the songs proper. But honestly, who's counting, Phish is playing well and fresh and we're in for a fantastic run.